NFL fans spend at least as much time (if not quite a lot more) tracking stats for Fantasy Football as they do watching the football games themselves. Arm-chair coaches and fantasy aficionados will rejoice as the NFL prepares to roll out an advanced real-time player tracking system for the 2014 season.
According to USA Today, each player will wear two small sensors under their shoulder pads. These sensors, in conjunction with stadium-based hardware, will report on stats such as speed, routes run, distance traveled, and more. The NFL is partnering with Zebra Technologies, who have introduced similar technology for other industries.
Yahoo Sports opines on how this technology could be used:
It doesn’t take a big leap to see how this technology could be used in-game for coaches to gain an edge. Cornerback losing a step in the fourth quarter? Flood that zone, stat! Accordingly, the NFL will not let teams use the data gathered for competitive purposes in 2014. But information wants to be free, and coaches want information, and therefore there’s a 12-year-old playing Madden right now who’s going to make millions as Statistics Coordinator for the Patriots.
Down the line, tech could be used to track players’ heart rate in-game, and also could be implemented in the ball to determine whether it crossed the goal line.
There will be 17 cities in the initial rollout for this system: Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, New England, New Orleans, Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington. USA Today notes that each city hosting a Thursday Night Football game is on the list. Detroit always hosts a Thanksgiving day game, which likely explains their inclusion, and who doesn’t like New Orleans?
What do you think of a more advanced tracking system for the NFL? let us know in the comments, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.
Featured image courtesy NFL.com.